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Acciona Energia has received the first ever prototype certificate for a grid-scale energy storage solution by DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body. The handover of the certificate took place at the American Wind Energy Association’s 2018 Windpower Conference in Chicago.

To explore the possibilities of grid-scale storage, Acciona Energia started up a hybrid plant for storing electricity in batteries as part of its grid-connected wind farm at Barasoain in Navarra, northern Spain.

The plant in Barásoain is equipped with a storage system that consists of two batteries located in separate containers: one fast-response battery of 1 MW/0.39 MWh (capable of maintaining 1 MW of power for 20 minutes) and another slower-response battery with greater autonomy (0.7 MW/0.7 MWh, maintaining 0.7 MW for 1 hour). Both have Samsung SDI Li-ion technology connected to a 3-MW AW116/3000 wind turbine of Acciona Windpower (Nordex Group) technology, from which they capture the energy to be stored. The wind turbine is one of five that make up the Experimental Wind Farm at Barásoain, operated by the company since 2013. The entire system is managed by control software developed in-house by Acciona Energia and is monitored in real time by the company’s Renewable Energies Control Center (CECOER).

The storage plant introduced by Acciona has now become the first in the world to undergo system-level certification. The certification process was carried out in line with the GRIDSTOR Recommended Practice, which is based on industry standards and considers safety, performance and reliability for grid-connected energy storage systems.

Key element

Energy storage is a key element in the transition to a more sustainable energy mix. It allows renewable sources such as wind and solar power to operate at full capacity during peak generation periods by storing excess energy until it is needed to meet later demand. While many energy storage technologies are well established at smaller scales, their application at grid-scale is still in its early days.
“The market for grid-scale energy storage systems is relatively unexplored, but we see rapid developments. Certifying new systems like Acciona’s grid-scale storage plant demonstrates that pioneering projects like this are meeting the required safety, performance and reliability standards and providing the industry with confidence in the quality of emerging new technologies,” said Kim Mørk, Executive Vice President, Renewables Certification at DNV GL.

Mørk added that “as part of our commitment to helping the industry transition to a low-carbon energy mix while maintaining safety and reliability of supply, we focus our efforts to develop industry guidelines on grid-scale energy storage to help designers, manufacturers, investors, insurers and authorities mitigate risks and control costs in energy storage projects”.

For his part, Rafael Esteban, CEO Acciona Energy USA Global LLC, said that “our company is at the forefront of the energy transition through our solutions to facilitate the integration of variable-generation renewables into the grid and manage the power produced. Adding the energy storage plant to our Barasoain Experimental Wind Farm will improve the quality of energy sent to the grid, allow us to explore other applications for balancing supply and demand and create a path for commercial storage solutions in our wind power projects.

With any emerging technology, technology qualification and certification is essential in understanding and managing risk”, added Esteban.“In the near future, the bodies involved in the approval and financing of storage systems worldwide will demand these certificates. Acciona also wants to be a pioneer in this area. By applying for certification from such a solvent entity as DNV GL, we can guarantee that our plant fulfils all the conditions to operate with full confidence.”

Source: Acciona

The battery is the heart of an electric vehicle. Using a battery in an eBus means that the battery has to handle a great deal, from the high mileage of the vehicles to the daily charging cycles and high performance requirements. As a result, the capacity of the batteries decreases over the course of a vehicle’s life, and at some point, the required range can no longer be achieved – MAN expects the batteries used in our eBuses to last at least six years. Given the long service life of an average city bus of 12 years, the batteries would have to be replaced but still be able to manage a certain capacity.

The question is what to do with the batteries. Disposing of them directly is neither ecologically nor economically sound. For this reason, VHH and MAN Truck & Bus want to jointly test the second life of these batteries in a stationary storage facility, as they expressed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 16 March 2018 in Munich.

This second life storage, as it is known, is designed to prevent power consumption peaks during bus charging (peak shaving) by filling up on charge during quieter periods, which the buses can then use at peak times. This saves costs and stabilises utilisation of the power grid, which is the intention of the participants. Further insights are expected on the aging behaviour of the batteries, the life cycles of future batteries and battery technologies, as well as opportunities to stabilise the electricity grid through use of electric transport. The prototype of the stationary storage facility is to start operating in Hamburg-Bergedorf during the course of the year. This involves working with used batteries obtained from vehicle testing, with cells of the type that will also be used in MAN’s eBuses.

This project underlines our aspiration to provide our customers with a complete range of electrification solutions for their fleet,” emphasised Florian Hondele, Project Manager at MAN Transport Solutions. The MAN Transport Solutions team of consultants has been supporting transport companies and freight forwarders since last year in all matters relating to the transition to alternative drive systems and, in particular, electric vehicles.

The joint testing of second life storage is part of the innovation partnership between MAN Truck & Bus and VHH. “Switching to electric transport means much more than just the purchase of electric buses. The testing of the second life energy storage unit fits in perfectly with our holistic strategy,” said Toralf Müller, Managing Director of VHH.

The research is part of the transport partnership between the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Volkswagen Group, which also includes MAN. Together, the partners are working on innovative solutions to make urban transport more environmentally friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient. One area of focus here is promoting electric-powered vehicles, which should result in fewer emissions and less noise in the city. As part of the partnership with the city, around 150 electrified Volkswagen vehicles are already on the streets of Hamburg. From the end of 2018, MAN electric buses will transport Hamburg’s residents through the city.

“We are about to make crucial strides in the development of vehicle batteries. And we want to play an important role as a vehicle manufacturer,” says Felix Kybart, Head of Alternative Drives at MAN Truck & Bus, on the occasion of the signing of the contract. And this does not end with the delivery of the vehicles – it also includes the secondary use of batteries and recycling.

Vekehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein GmbH (VHH), headquartered in Hamburg, transports more than 100 million passengers per year, employing 1,600 people from 60 nations. Their fleet includes 527 buses. VHH is investing in the future with the switch to electric transport. Two electric buses have been in regular use since 2014. More eBuses have been ordered. An electric bus workshop is under construction and will open in summer 2018.

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Webatt Energía, a pioneer in solar self-consumption, has been selected by German group sonnen, the global leader in the manufacture of intelligent energy storage systems and the operator of the largest shared energy platform in the world, as its partner for the recent opening of its new market in Europe.

With the aim of promoting energy self-consumption at home and clearly focused on the rapid development of the use of renewable energy in Spain, Webatt, together with sonnen, has launched a partner programme designed for PV installers to bring added value to the service they offer their clients while certifying them as official installers in Spain (official partners) of a leading multinational such as sonnen.

The aim of the Webatt partner programme is to equip Spain’s leading PV installers with the necessary knowledge so that they can offer their clients sonnen’s intelligent energy storage systems and install the equipment themselves. In a first phase, which turns them into a network partner, the programme provides the installer with enough know-how to understand the equipment and its advantages, as well as personalised guidance during the first three installations undertaken. The second phase involves a validated certification to become a certified partner.

The Webatt partner programme is currently undergoing a major dissemination campaign and is expected to achieve its first round of certifications in Catalonia and another in Madrid over the coming months.

sonnenBatterie: innovation, quality and durability

sonnen batteries are a storage solution that uses intelligent energy management software. It easily adapts to the electricity consumption profile of any home, given that the system is available in different storage capacities and comes with a scalable and modular approach (2 kWh to 48 kWh – in modules of 2 kWh).

sonnen batteries are also high quality. They avoid surprises and offer a seamless transition by incorporating an integrated factory system that offers full control over the installation. The equipment contains an integrated power manager that guarantees greater security in the home thanks to its lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo4) technology instead of NMC (nickel manganese cobalt). The NMCs used in mobile phones, computers and electric cars are lighter and more compact however are not as durable and are less secure compared to lithium batteries.

sonnen equipment also offers the best level of durability on the market, with 10,000 charging cycles which translates into over 25 years. Manufacturers usually provide information regarding battery capacity, but the most important fact is the number of cycles and the discharge depth for which it is designed. The sonnenBatterie combines these two factors to offer the most competitive solution, taking into account the cost in Euros per charge cycle. There is no need for maintenance, however in the event of any incident, Webatt provides the installer with technical support.

Moreover, this German equipment is made out of components obtained from natural sources, with no heavy toxic metals, offering an attractive aesthetic that combines perfection with any interior décor.

For those who are technologically-minded, sonnenBatterie provides control over energy consumption and production at any time and from anywhere via an app. The sonnenApp makes it easy to monitor, analyse and control the home’s consumption and demand from any smartphone or tablet.

Webatt: the catalyst for the energy transition in Spain

As a result of its relationship with sonnen, Webatt has positioned itself as the catalyst to drive Spain’s energy transition, promoting a new and more sustainable energy model that is based on renewable energy and enabling households to become more energy independent.

Webatt was founded in 2017 from the joint efforts of Bassols Energía, an electrical power reseller and distributor with over 100 years of experience in the sector, and Wattia Innova, state company of reference dedicated to energy efficiency in the industrial and tertiary sectors and a specialist in home and office automation.

For its part, sonnen is one of the fastest growing companies in Germany and Europe. Its technology has been recognised on many occasions. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ranking, sonnen is considered to be one of the 50 smartest companies 2016, alongside Amazon, Facebook and Tesla.

Spanish renewable technologies company Norvento has unveiled its Norvento Energy Innovation Centre (CIne), one of the most advanced in terms of self-generation and energy independence by means of renewable energy. Situated in Lugo, CIne is a zero-energy building, completely self-sufficient using renewable sources, that runs with no connection to the power grid thanks to the integration of a battery system to store electricity, among other solutions. Covering a surface area of over 4,000 m2, this building is the result of decades of R&D+i undertaken by Norvento and is the greatest exponent of the technological solutions it offers the market. Its technology and design avoid the emission of over 160 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.

CIne represents the convergence of Norvento’s more than 35 years of experience in the field of renewable energy. A new, 100% renewable head office, completely independent, conceived as a work and testing centre, capable of accommodating 200 workers. In addition, it is the company’s main wind farm operation and monitoring centre. CIne is a clear example of how Norvento’s technology can help the industrial sector fully equip itself for self-supply and self-management via renewables.

It has taken more than six years to turn this project into a reality, from its design to its construction, involving a total investment of €12m for Norvento. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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In 2017, CSP reached a global installed capacity of 5.1 GW. According to the IEA, that figure is expected to grow to 10 GW by 2022, with almost all new capacity incorporating storage. Worldwide, 23 countries currently have CSP projects. While the largest installed capacities are in the USA and Spain, there are CSP plants in operation or under development in numerous other countries, including the UAE, Egypt, Israel, India, China, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In September 2016, China launched its first batch of CSP pilot projects and although this batch is progressing slower than expected, as CSP Focus reported earlier this year, China’s National Energy Administration has indicated that according to the construction status of the first batch of CSP pilot projects, China will launch a second batch of pilot projects in future.

In recent years, the Chinese CSP industry has made great progress and some positive changes are taking place. Through years of study and practice, China has successfully built commercial CSP plants like the SUPCON 10 MW tower CSP plant and the Shouhang 10 MW molten salt tower CSP plant. The local value chain is maturing and is making a great contribution to several traditional industries including chemicals, iron and steel, engineering and construction.

111 CSP projects with a total capacity of 9 GW took part in the application of China’s first batch of 20 1,349 GW CSP pilot projects in September 2016. Almost 18 months have now passed, however the projects corresponding to this first batch of pilot CSP projects in China are progressing more slowly than expected, and only a few can be completed by the end of 2018. However, we should not pass judgment regarding the future of China’s CSP industry simply from the completion of the first batch of pilot projects. The reason why the government is encouraging the development and construction of these initial pilot CSP projects is to verify the technology and feasibility of CSP project implementation and cultivate a local CSP industrial value chain, as well as to explore and set up a supporting regulatory mechanism. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

Ingeteam has reached the milestone of 50 GW in the supply of power converters for renewable energy plants. To obtain the same amount of power from coal, it would have been necessary to burn 36 million tons of coal that would have emitted 110 million tons of carbon dioxide. In terms of energy, the 50 GW figure is the equivalent to the annual consumption of 28 million households and comes from the sum of the power converters delivered to the wind, solar and energy storage sectors.

In the wind power sector, Ingeteam holds the leadership position as the world’s largest manufacturer of wind power converters, with a global market share of 8%. This important figure consolidates the growth in the main markets, where the company has sold more than 10 GW in only two years. In the solar sector, the company has closed 2017 with 1.44 GW of PV and battery inverters, strengthening its position as one of the leading manufacturers in Latin America and EMEA.

Moreover, Ingeteam is the world leader in the provision of operation and maintenance services to energy generation plants, with a portfolio of more than 12 GW, while its automated solutions for power generation plants has grown to 3 GW.

Furthermore, to date, Indar, as part of the Ingeteam group, has supplied more than 30 GW in generators for the wind power and hydropower sectors.

This boom in renewable energy generation plants is not momentary, but is a growing global trend. The change in the energy model to green energies is now a reality. This is partly due to society’s growing awareness of the need to combat the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and the global warming of the planet. In this respect, the transition to a clean and sustainable energy generation model is as important as the change to a transport and mobility network that is also clean and sustainable. In this area, Ingeteam also manufactures e-vehicle charging points and has already supplied more than 3,000 units.

Breakdown of cumulative data

  • 50 GW in power converters (wind, solar PV and storage).
  • 12 GW in O&M services for RE plants.
  • 3 GW in automated equipment for RE plants.
  • 3,000 e-vehicle recharging points.
  • 30 GW in wind power and hydropower generators.

Source: Ingeteam

Aggressive innovations by energy solutions providers—in response to pressures such as corporate demand and policy changes including the Paris Climate Accord—has accelerated the development of new clean technologies. Corporate adopters across a wide variety of industries are championing these new energy opportunities, including wind and solar power, distributed generation, energy storage, and other disruptive technologies.

Schneider Electric’s white paper, New Energy Opportunities: Innovations That Shape How Companies Manage Energy, explores several of these cutting-edge technologies, uncover the benefits and challenges of each, and learn by example through case studies on organizations that are already embracing the promising future that these new energy technologies offer.

Renewable energy. Renewable energy is already shaping the way companies buy and sell energy today. C&I buyers are utilizing clean power more than ever before. Often referred to in the past as an alternative, renewable energy is becoming a centerpiece of many corporate energy management programs. More than 100 global companies have signed on to the RE100, committing to source 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

In the U.S., C&I purchasers were responsible for 52% of the contracted capacity of new wind power in 2015, and, in total, have helped add more than 8,000 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar to the U.S. grid since 2010. Additionally, some of the most notable C&I Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) deals in 2016 occurred outside of North America. Google, Facebook, and Nestle are among the first corporations to venture into international renewable energy markets to provide clean power for facilities abroad. Energy Attribute Certificates (EACs) and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are increasingly available to meet the growing demand for green power of compliance and voluntary markets

Microgrids. Today’s market forces are leading to a departure from a highly centralized power system and a return to smaller scale, localized systems that optimize power demand, consumption, and management. Microgrids are emerging as one of these decentralizing technologies that companies are considering because they bring together a combination of clean technologies such as distributed generation, batteries, and renewable resources to help organizations operate autonomously from the traditional electrical grid. C&I energy buyers can realize substantial near-term cost savings by implementing technologies embedded within a microgrid that insulate their facilities from the risk and changing cost components of an ever-evolving energy market.

Energy storage. Batteries and other types of storage play a key role in enabling companies to embrace clean, low-cost, renewable energy at a higher level. By mitigating the intermittency issues that renewable power sources like wind and solar face, storage helps remove a significant barrier that has prevented greater adoption of wind and solar resources.

As the price for batteries and other storage solutions drops, corporate buyers will be well poised to maximize energy investments, while contributing to the clean energy transition. Additionally, with microgrid opportunities on the rise, energy storage in conjunction with other new energy opportunities, very well may become commonplace for companies in the not-so-distant future.

Fuel cells. Fuel cells electrochemically combine a fuel (ranging from pure hydrogen to natural gas or biogas) with oxygen and convert the resulting chemical energy into electricity without any form of combustion. Because they require a constant, steady source of fuel to produce electricity, fuel cells are able to provide a continuous, baseload source of clean electric power.

As a baseload resource, fuel cell technology helps bridge the gap where other renewable energy sources face challenges. The intermittency issues that wind and solar must overcome are not a concern for fuel cells. Partnered with other renewable technologies, fuel cells can balance the difference between demand and generation of intermittent resources. Though fuel cells are not without challenges, such as their high capital cost, embracing a clean energy transition relies on a diverse portfolio of cleantech solutions. As fuel cells overcome these challenges to adoption, in the same way other clean technologies have found success, they should become a vital technology to carefully consider within the active energy management landscape.

Blockchain. Blockchain technology is a distributed, digital ledger used to record and track transactions. It uses sophisticated algorithms to validate, encrypt, and instantaneously record transactions for virtually anything of value in a secure and decentralized manner. Energy is one area of interest for blockchain applications.

Currently, the only means to track renewable energy generation is through EACs, and information sharing among market participants is a manual process. With blockchain, EACs can be created instantaneously as renewable energy is put onto the grid—no matter the size or physical location of the producer. With the increased autonomy that blockchain introduces, corporate energy buyers may find it easier to accomplish these goals—and at a lower cost and time commitment.

Source: Schneider Electric

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Greensmith Energy, a part of the Wärtsilä technology group, was selected by Origis Energy USA to provide advanced energy storage integrated with solar PV in Sterling, Massachusetts, USA. The resultant hybrid system will allow the PV installation to better handle peak loads and provide secure, reliable electricity supply to the Municipality and State.

Greensmith Energy will deliver the 1 MW / 2 MWh energy storage system using LG Chem batteries and Sungrow inverters to Origis Energy, a leading US-based provider of solar energy and storage solutions, with over 1 gigawatt of developed solar capacity. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Greensmith will deliver the turnkey solution and project on a fast-track basis, having proven its ability to meet demanding delivery schedules globally through over 70 successful system deployments. The system is expected to be fully operational by the end of March 2018. The company will also provide energy storage operation and maintenance services under a 10-year agreement.

Greensmith Energy, a Wärtsilä Company, is a leading provider of energy storage technology and integration – having delivered 11 grid-scale system projects globally in 2017. Now in its fifth generation, Greensmith’s GEMS software platform offers the widest range of energy storage applications for optimizing energy storage, often integrated with a growing variety of renewable and fossil generation assets.

Source: Wärtsilä

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has published a new report on the global storage market. 2017 Global Energy Storage Forecast reveals that this market will grow to a cumulative 125 GW/305 GWh by 2030, attracting US$103 billion in investment over this period. Although this will represent a fraction of total installed generation capacity, the electricity system will look fundamentally different. Utility-scale storage becomes a practical alternative to new-build generation or network reinforcement, especially for underutilised assets in some markets. Behind-the-meter storage will increasingly be used to provide system services, such as peaking capacity, on top of customer applications.

The global energy storage market will double six times between 2016 and 2030, rising to a total of 125 GW/305 GWh. This is a similar trajectory to the remarkable expansion that the solar industry went through from 2000 to 2015, in which the share of photovoltaic as a percentage of total generation doubled seven times.

Regionally, energy storage build will be roughly equally spread across APAC, EMEA and the AMER. In the earlier years, between 2017 and 2020, APAC will represent almost half of the total installed capacity as South Korea, Japan, Australia and China have supported earlier build in these markets. Eight countries will lead the market, with 70% of capacity to be installed in the US, China, Japan, India, Germany, the UK, Australia and South Korea by 2030. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY December 2017 – January 2018

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Once more, in Scotland, hydrogen energy has proven to be an effective and clean alternative with the public presentation of the Surf ´n ´ Turf project, and with the Spanish industrial group Calvera as one of its main suppliers. The Surf’ n’ Turf project´s facilities started their operations after an opening ceremony on the 27th of September which was attended by the Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy of the Scottish Government, Paul Wheelhouse. This project is an innovative initiative seeking to promote the local generation, storage and distribution of hydrogen from renewable sources on the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Its aim: to locally produce and utilize electric power, with an ensuing reduction in fossil fuel consumption and green-house emissions. For that, a set of facilities for hydrogen production on the isle of Eday from both a marine turbine and electrolyser have been built. Hydrogen is subsequently to be transferred in containers by ferry to the port of Kirkwall, where it will be once again transformed into electric power to supply port buildings and to provide service to moored ships.

The Spanish company Calvera plays a key role in this process that provides a clean and efficient solution for electric power. Thanks to its know-how on high pressure hydrogen storage and transport, Calvera supplied three sets of equipment (truck chassis and tanks) which are essential for the entire operation of hydrogen transport from its energy generation point to end-user location.

International track record

The CALVERA Group boasts a wealth of experience in European hydrogen-related projects. Prior to the Surf ´ n´ Turf project, it took part in the CENIT Sphera project that ended in 2010 and which, under the leadership of Gas Natural and a 30 million euro budget, aimed to develop the comprehensive technology required to introduce hydrogen as a further component into the energy mix. In it, Calvera provided solutions for hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization, with particular attention paid towards renewable hydrogen.

At present Calvera is partner to one of the most ambitious initiatives in Europe to promote hydrogen as an energy carrier: the BIG HIT project (Building Innovative Green Hydrogen Systems in an Isolated Territory: a pilot for Europe). With a budget of approximately 11 million euros, including 5 million euros coming from the European Commission, BIG HIT, involves 12 participants from 6 European countries. It seeks to develop the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen production, storage and distribution for the local supply of power on the Orkneys, -as is the case with the Surf ´n ´ Turf project to which it is heir-, as well as from renewable sources such as wind and tidal power. Thanks to this project, the local grid limitations to produce “green” hydrogen will be overcome by making use of the power surplus gone to waste so far.

Likewise, the Spanish company is involved in The Hydrogen Office project, supplying hydrogen storage equipment and supplying power and heating for a block of buildings in the Scottish town of Methil.

Source: Calvera

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